Understanding SSD Benefits and How Non-Medical Evidence Can Make a Difference
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits are important—albeit complicated—benefits paid to individuals who have worked and earned some type of income in recent years, but have a significant physical or mental impairment resulting in death or preventing them from working for at least one year. This specific type of benefits program is designed to provide assistance to individuals who can no longer work due to a disability but have worked a significant amount within the last 10 years. For many people, the very idea of applying for SSDI benefits can be overwhelming and daunting. To obtain approval, there are numerous regulations and rules to which anyone applying for SSDI benefits must adhere. If you have ever applied for SSDI benefits before, you are likely aware of the many different hoops through which you must jump to help your chances of being awarded benefits.
One of the most important aspects of an SSDI application is inclusion of all available medical evidence. However, many people do not realize that non-medical evidence is actually just as critical. An SSDI application is intended to prove to the government that you can no longer perform any work that exists in significant numbers in the national economy. While medical evidence is obviously a requirement to prove an individual cannot work, sometimes medical evidence alone is not enough.
Why Non-Medical Evidence is Important
When filing for SSDI benefits, it is of the utmost importance to have a good handle on what is expected. The first mistake people make when filing for SSDI benefits is not taking the time to visit with an SSDI legal specialist to go over the various requirements, both medical and non-medical. SSDI benefits are based on an individual being disabled, as well as many other vocational (past work) issues, which is why there are so many different considerations.
Here is a look at a few examples of non-medical evidence that is required:
- Work History – Individuals will be required to complete a Work History Form providing 15 years of work history for the years preceding their disability. Social Security will go through a five-step process to determine whether the applicant can still perform any of his/her past work or if he/she retains the capacity for some other type(s) of work in the national economy.
- Insurance – Another consideration for SSDI applicants is their insured status. Unlike Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applicants, those applying for SSDI benefits must have worked long enough to be considered insured before they can receive disability benefits.
- Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) – Most applicants will be required to complete an Adult Function Report to disclose activities of daily living. How do you spend your day? Do you drive? Do you shop? Do you cook and clean? Responses to these questions can impact the outcome of a claim.
These are just a couple of the most common non-medical evidence considerations, because responses to these questions can greatly impact whether a claim is approved or denied. To learn more about non-medical evidence in regards to SSDI benefits, please contact an SSDI legal specialist from Atkins & Markoff today.
When to Hire a Social Security Attorney
If this is your first time applying for SSDI benefits or if you have any questions about the application process, we encourage you to contact an SSDI legal specialist at Atkins & Markoff. Our Oklahoma SSDI legal specialists are here to help walk you through the process from start to finish, ensuring you have the best chance of getting approved for disability benefits the first time around.